Bun Gauge

One hallmark of the American fast food industry has been customer convenience in knowing precisely what one's food will look and taste like. The lack of variation has extended to the food preparation routines of the fast food workforce. Specialized kitchen aids such as this bun gauge have been devised to eliminate guesswork and meal–to–meal variation.
There was a time in American history when neither customers nor restaurants cared whether the height of a hamburger bun emerging from the oven was a bit higher or lower than the next bun. But as this gauge demonstrates, new parameters emerged in the late 20th century to reduce this likelihood. As with car parts and clock gears, production quality decisions are removed from the individual worker. No longer does a baker need to use seasoned judgment to determining the proper look of a burger bun. Now he or she simply places one side of this go–no–go gauge over a sample bun to test for the proper height and diameter of a Quarter Pounder, a Big Mac, a regular burger, or a slice of bun.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
average spatial: 22.5 cm x 17.2 cm; x 8 7/8 in x 6 3/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Occupations
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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